For me, exercise has always been an outlet to not only move through any heavier energy like negativity, stress, anger but also an outlet for connecting with our more primal nature like play and physicality. So I would say it creates a deeper connection with self/nature (especially if doing things outdoors or more primal activities like climbing, wrestling, running), Increases vitality and longevity and it’s a healthy outlet for stress and emotion management.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Colton Khan. Colton serves as Marketing Manager for the Perspire Brand. He drives the creative direction at Perspire Sauna Studio and oversees the marketing efforts of all studio locations. Colton earned his degree in Economics and Textiles & Clothing from the University of California Davis. Previously, Colton was managing e-commerce marketing and merchandising for lifestyle apparel company Marine Layer.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
Yes, thank you! Growing up I was always involved in sports but it wasn’t until college that I really started to become aware of the intimate connection of mind and body and started focusing more on a holistic approach to my wellness and really prioritizing that.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Out of school, I started in the apparel industry and after a few years of that I embarked on a solo journey across the globe, traveling to Indonesia, India, and Pakistan, immersing myself in the cultures, personal projects, and yoga & meditation training, all of which really allowed me the space to explore myself and my passions more deeply. Upon my return to the states, I wanted to meld my passion for branding and marketing with wellness and ended up where I am today, managing the marketing for Perspire Sauna Studio. It’s certainly been an interesting path with lots of cherished life experiences to get to where I am today and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
Well, when I was first starting in the apparel industry I was doing a lot of the online marketing and merchandising for a lifestyle clothing company. They had a deal where you can get three of any basic t-shirt for $100. Unfortunately, one day I made a mistake that accidentally turned everything on the website to 3 for $100 (like jackets, sweatshirts, pants which cost much more than $33). I’ll never forget walking into my boss’s offices and telling them that for the last 12 hours everything on the website was pretty much $33. They were cool and compassionate and I had a solution in place with my team and we were able to turn it into a positive but like I said, I’ll never forget that — and can now have a chuckle about it.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
Mmmm that’s a great question and I think the root of it all comes down to fear and stress. When our physiology, our nervous systems specifically, are in a state of fear or stress we are in a ‘fight or flight’ state that inhibits our ability to perceive things clearly and limits our awareness of what is indeed the ‘best’ or the most relevant, beneficial decision or action for the moment. It keeps us in the intellectual and blocks us from connecting to our intuition which will is what will actually guide us to what is most evolutionarily beneficial for us in each moment.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
Daily Meditation. There are many types of meditation but I personally practice Transcendental Meditation (TM)/Vedic Meditation. It’s a non-negotiable that I practice twice daily for twenty minutes and has drastically improved my quality of life, helping me to shed stress and trauma that gets stored in our physiology, allowing me to operate from greater awareness and higher states of consciousness.
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
For me, exercise has always been an outlet to not only move through any heavier energy like negativity, stress, anger but also an outlet for connecting with our more primal nature like play and physicality. So I would say:
A deeper connection with self/nature (especially if doing things outdoors or more primal activities like climbing, wrestling, running).
Increases vitality and longevity.
A healthy outlet for stress and emotion management.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
Hmmm I don’t know if I would recommend any specific exercises per se. We are all so unique, and even the individual is unique moment to moment in what they most need. With that, I would just encourage people to try a variety of forms of exercise — everything from different group classes (spin, pilates, HIIT) to dancing to surfing and just seeing what you find yourself gravitating towards and what’s having the most transformation effect — and what you’re having the most fun with. It should be challenging but not too straining and it really should be enjoyable otherwise it’s really not going to stick and be sustainable. I think having variety is really good for the mind and body and know it’s been huge for me as I’m constantly mixing it up. I think the key is being able to create a more intimate relationship with the body and the intuition and then letting that guide you in your day to day programming.
In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?
I think this plays on what I was just talking about in being able to listen to your body and being able to discern what it really needs each day — you know some days a forty-five minute walk is really all you need or that is best for you and some days it’s a forty-five minute H.I.I.T. class. Most exercise is a demand and stress on the body so we really have to be mindful of how much we are demanding and putting on the body on a day to day basis.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
There really have been so many over the years so it’s hard to choose one but a few personal “classics”:
The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
The Alchemist by Pablo Coehlo
Be Here Now by Ram Daas
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Honestly, I think we are in a movement of awakening which is beautiful to witness and be a part of. I think if we all were to just spend the time exploring ourselves, clearing stress and trauma then we can all let our inner, authentic lights shine and share our gifts with each other and in doing that the whole world will become more enlightened and there would be less friction and separation. I realize that’s pretty abstract but I think we are all on that path whether we know it or not. With that, I’ll just say it’s important we stay open-minded and to be willing — willing to be courageous, step into the uncertainty, surrender, to let go and to love more fully.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“It’s a serious responsibility to not take life too seriously.” — Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I love to ‘break bread’ with anyone as I think we all have so much wisdom to give and share with one another. I’m so grateful to have so many teachers come into my life and opportunities to meet people on their personal journeys of wellness, enlightenment, fulfillment — whatever you want to call it. And yet there are so many I look up to and I’ve yet to meet in person but still get to absorb their wisdom through books, podcasts, music, movies — again such a special time to be alive to have all this access and ability to share with one another.
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Thank you for all of these great insights!